Racing Home

Racing Home

A Story by 7ue

I wake up every morning wishing I was home. I live in a hole-in-the-wall down the road from Camden Town station. If I have time I have a bite to eat; usually the crusty end of toast. Once, for a week, I tried to eat healthily, you know, cereal, yoghurt. I even tried muesli. If you ask me all that dieting is bad for you.

      After a quick wash I creep quietly out of the flat, the people I live with are students, sometimes I think they forget I’m here; always asleep when I leave and out when I get back.

      The weather is quite nice today; I step out onto the street and allow the usual routines to take over, making my way to the station bleary eyed from the sunlight. No one would even notice if I didn’t go in, but I do it every day, I don’t know what I would do with my day otherwise.

      Horns blare like moody cows; a squirrel running across the road caused one of those huge people carriers to swerve. The woman, too young to be a mother, is applying her make up with one hand while talking on the phone with the other and steering with just her knees. I can’t see it but I know it to be true.

      Just another morning ritual. I’m a creature of habit too.

      I haven’t lived here long; it’s different to the greenery of home. Everything’s…grey. Grey paving, grey houses, even the people are grey; with their grey suits and stony faces. The air smells different, water tastes different. Everything here is quicker, the pace of life much busier than home. I first visited years ago, got lost doing the tourist thing around Westminster for hours and ended up sleeping in a bush in Neasden.

      I hated it then, and thought I would never come back, but as time passed I visited more often and started to warm to the place. It’s true what they say though; it’s a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live here.

      Dodging people on the stairs in the station has become an accomplishment recently. People would go mad when I tried to take the escalator, so now I slip onto the platform without anybody even noticing. In seconds I’m on the northern line going south.

      I gave up trying to get comfortable on the tube after the first week here. Now I just stand quietly in a corner trying to look invisible, just like all the people. They all stand ignoring each other. I did some reading on it one night while the students were out. One of them left his book open on the page about personal space. It’s interesting, body language and all that, why humans behave the way they do. It really opened my eyes to the differences between us.


      My stop. I avoid the trampling feet of other passengers charging their way out the doors. I always trip on the gap between the platforms.

      A man in a suit drops his briefcase right in front of me and kneels to wipe a scuff mark from his shoe. It’s a shiny Gucci number with a mahogany buckle. He catches sight of me in the corner of his eye, which widens as he gasps, and I dart towards the Coke machine. A rush of air wooshes against my tail as I clamber underneath and catch my breath.

      Just another day for a field mouse in a city full of rats. 

© 2017 7ue

Author's Note

please don't mention the twist in your review.

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LOL @ the author's note. my rebellious side itches to respond contrarily.. but i won't.

i loved every bit of this: the personification of the crowd, the smellsightsound grit of the city surroundings.. the reading of the "personal space" passage.. simply wonderful. i could live with a whole series of these quite happily. of course if this is where you want to leave it, that is good too *wink*

a little piece of everyday magic

Posted 10 Years Ago

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1 Review
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on July 19, 2010
Last Updated on May 2, 2017
Tags: short, story, twist



Croydon, London, United Kingdom

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